Australia - Free-to-Air TV - Market Overview and Statistics


Australians now have many more free-to-air television channels that can be viewed on the digital only streams that now come from the broadcasters as analogue was switched off altogether in December 2013. While we many have extra channels to view, we still only have the same amount of time to manage, so our viewing habits have started to tip so that more catch-up TV is being watched but most of us like to view live TV.

The market share of internet-enabled smart TVs and 3DTVs is still well below 50%, but these devices are seeing increased uptake to watch IPTV and other online or downloaded content. Into the mid-2010s and onwards to 2020 we will continue to see digital technologies increasing its market share of the entertainment and media industries as the national broadband network increases its spread across Australia.

These changing market conditions are impacting both the FTA and subscription TV industries and both these industries are vying for increased market share so as to remain profitable as the sector changes in the digital era. They continue to provide apps for smartphones, tablets and on smart TVs that allow viewers differing access methods to content and/or their TV programs. The FTA channels are counting on the use of Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) technology allowing viewers since late 2014 to watch catch-up TV direct on the TV set using FreeviewPlus.

This report provides an overview on the FTA market in Australia as well as an overview of trends. The information and analysis is provided and in a range of formats including text, tabular and easy-to-read chart formats.

Key developments:

Advertising revenue to decrease in the FTA networks, digital TV, advertising and content, increased Australian content across all channels, increased watching of TV may come from catch-up streaming, and over the air using the FreeviewPlus EPG.

Companies covered in this report include:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Seven West, Nine Entertainment, TEN, Free TV.

Information on Digital TV and Smart TVs are covered in our separate reports at

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market update
    • 2.1 Overview
    • 2.2 Digital media uptake continues to increase
    • 2.3 Public broadcasters
    • 2.4 Private broadcasters
      • 2.4.1 Overview
      • 2.4.2 Seven West Media
      • 2.4.3 Catch-up TV continues to expand with apps, online content and HbbTV
  • 3. Trends and analysis
    • 3.1 Free-to-air TV still going strong
    • 3.2 FTA industry faces increasing challenges
    • 3.3 Broadcasters old and new use internet to deliver content
    • 3.4 4K, 3D, Ultra HD and smartTVs availability keeps increasing
    • 3.5 FreeviewPlus
    • 3.6 Ageing TV audiences
    • 3.7 Broadcasting is moving to broadband
  • 4. Market statistics
    • 4.1 Background information
    • 4.2 Advertising market statistics
    • 4.3 Advertising predictions beyond 2014
    • 4.4 Television viewing statistics
  • 5. Drama spending and production
    • 5.1 Advertising production
    • 5.2 Australian drama and content
  • 6. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Television set penetration by number and type of sets – 2010 - 2013
  • Table 2 – Advertising revenue share for commercial networks – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 3 – Percentage shares of capital city TV advertising market – 1998 - 2013
  • Table 4 – Advertising revenue for FTA commercial networks – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 5 – Australian advertising spend in Pay TV and FTA sectors – 2010; 2014; 2016
  • Table 6 – Australian advertising spend by industry – 2010; 2014; 2016
  • Table 7 – Australian advertising production by network – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 8 – Australian content between 0600-2400 – 2008 - 2012
  • Chart 1 – Overview of market shares in capital city TV advertising market – 2003 - 2013
  • Chart 2 – Overview of Australian advertising production by network – 2007 - 2012
  • Chart 3 – Overview of Australian content measurement between 0600-2400 – 2007 - 2012
  • Exhibit 1 - Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV

Focus Report profile


Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages: 14

Status: Current

Last update: 15 January 2015
View update history

Analyst: Paul Budde

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